Book Review: Altaica – Tracy M. Joyce

This book truly surprised me. It’s  starts very slow, and made it difficult to read, but once you get to part 2 it speeds up and becomes quite amazing and interesting. Altaica  is a new and unique take on the fantasy genre, and I am very happy that NetGalley gave me the opportunity to read it!

Here is the Netgalley description:

*****

‘Look at her – she’s Hill Clan. Even the Matyrani don’t like them …’

Isaura – little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life.

Escape is only the beginning of her troubles. Having fled an invading army with her friends, Isaura is faced with heinous choices in order to survive. Secrets from her past emerge to torment her and threaten to destroy all she holds dear. Her struggles forge a bond with an ancient power – a power which may transform or consume her. Old hatreds and superstitions are renewed and at her most vulnerable she learns the true nature of those around her.

Her only hope lies in a foreign land – a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. A land with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power.

Survival carries a high price.

Welcome to Altaica.

*****

This book was far from what I expected, it has twists and turns that drew me in deeply. I was skeptical at first because of the many different perspectives, but I feel like it truly added to the story, but it did cause some difficulty and confusion at first. The book takes some getting used to, but it is a really good read for fantasy fans everywhere.

The author created a really vivid world with several different personalities that blend well together. You can feel the magic of Altaica around every corner as it draws you in. I really enjoy books that create a functional and immersive world, it helps me to truly get into a story. This is one of the visuals I found beautifully written, “From her perch, Isaura could see the huge pillar of grimy, sooty clouds that billowed above the burning market town of Santente. Smaller spires of smoke and blackened land pockmarked the rest of the plain, as if some malignancy had infected it.” You can just see the decrepit town and feel the sorrow in the words.

This book is filled with magic and mystery, but also a lot of brutal battle descriptions. My favorite being, “One behind an empty hen house with an arrow lodged in his back and a fat raven perched on his head— feasting.” If that doesn’t give you some goosebumps I don’t know what will.

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4/5 on my official rating, it starts quite slow, but stick to it because it really is a great book!

“‘Don’t look at me so, girl. How do you think legends are born?’” This is a legendary book being born… Don’t miss out!

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